by Jincy IypeAug 01, 2022
When intervening in regions known for their blistering climate, how does one balance the notions of privacy and architectural identity for a space as personal and distinguished as a home?
In the city of Bhilwara in Rajasthan, a multigenerational home designed by Mumbai-based Sanjay Puri Architects stands out as an earthy sculpture crafted in a series of arches and curvilinear walls. The project named Mirai House of Arches – the word Mirai meaning future - is conceived as a contextual response to the extreme climate of the Indian city which witnesses harsh and dry summers, in addition to scanty rainfall. Comprising three floors that host four bedrooms, two living rooms, a gym and a study in a space marked by varying heights, the 920 sqm private residence also reveals an intriguing play of curves, planes, and volumes. An imposing scalloped skin and a landscaped patch along the property's periphery render the house its inward-looking character, in which much of what happens within the enclosure remains partly shielded from the outside.
The house is located on a corner plot measuring 622 sqm. The fenestrations and gardens inside appear on the north and west edges of the building that adjoin two connecting roads, whereas the southern and western sides reveal minimal apertures in view of future residential development to take place on either ends.
The genesis of the architectural form is predominantly rooted in its context. The idea of a second skin wrapping the interiors was considered to mitigate the heat gain within the house, keeping in view the region's challenging summer climate where temperature sometimes goes up to a scorching 40 degrees Celsius over an eight month-long period. Speaking of this intervention, the studio explains, "A curvilinear punctuated envelope surrounds the house creating interstitial semi open spaces all along the perimeter with deeper recesses on the garden facing sides. This envelope reduces the heat gain substantially whilst providing sheltered open spaces around the house to each room."
Upon entering the house through the western edge of the site, one comes across a replication of arches extending from the home's exteriors to its interior walls and surfaces. The ground floor layout features a central corridor bisecting the space, and concluding in a small indoor water feature. On one side of the floor is a drawing room, a staircase, and a family living space, the other houses a guest bedroom, a kitchen and dining space. The first floor consists of three large bedrooms, and the floor above is the family’s introverted den comprising a workspace, and a gym. Rooms on the upper floor recede inwards from the building’s edge to give space to semi-shaded balconies that enjoy views of the street and the city beyond. The shading is provided by curved trellis roofs, and the heavy wave-like form of the building’s second skin.
"Sectionally the heights within are varied with an interesting play of volumes in each part of the house, bedrooms of a single volume, dining area of a double volume and a living area of an intermediate 1.5 level volume," adds the studio which is headed by architect Sanjay Puri.
Mirai was given its earthy form using locally sourced bricks, sandstone, and lime plaster. In the interiors, a mix of warm and cool surfaces are realised using timber, stone, textiles, and water in the material palette. According to Sanjay Puri Architects, the house has features such as rain water harvesting, and the use of solar panels, that makes it self-sufficient in terms of energy generation, in addition to being climate responsive.
Known for their contextual visions spanning different typologies and scales, Sanjay Puri Architects has also recently been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival 2022. The listed project is an educational building in Rajasthan, known as the Nokha Village School; its architecture is characterised by a traditional courtyard plan and geometric stone louvers. Recognised for uniting architecture with its context, climate and tradition, other projects by the award-winning studio that have been published on STIR include visions for the Prestige University (Indore, India), Learning Curves (Raipur, India), and Learning Squares (Aurangabad, India). Read the article here.
Name: Mirai House of Arches
Location: Bhilwara, Rajasthan, India
Typology: Private Residence
Commencement: June 2020
Completion: May 2022
Client: V. P. Ranka
Construction company / Contractor: Anupam Buildtech
Gross Floor Area: 9900 sqft
Design Company: Sanjay Puri Architects
Lead Architects: Sanjay Puri, Nina Puri
Architecture: Ishveen Bhasin, Shreiya Kumar
Interiors: Nilesh Patel, Tanya Puri, Kalpesh Kaacha
Interior Design Consultant: Nina Puri Architects
Structural Consultant: Vijay Tech Consultants
MEP Consultant: Shreshtha Consultants